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Hi everyone, well.. after months of silently reading almost everything that acne.org has to offer, I'm ready to make my little log to track my progress. I'm blown away by stories of other women who decided to leave birth control behind, and are going through almost exactly what I am.. At least I know that I'm not the odd one out, and I'm not alone!

So as the title suggests, this log will be to monitor my progress (if any, I hope?) after coming off of bcps. After having to go to the ER a few months ago because I thought I was having a stroke (severe migraine with numb body, which I later thought could have been blood clots but CT Scan ruled this out) I started to do some research as to what causes migraines. My research led to me believe that high estrogen may have been a cause, and after researching deeper and deeper into hormonal imbalances, I realized that the pill was doing my body way more harm than good. I started to read about what to expect when coming off of the pill, and it really scared me.. I decided to be prepared, and I warned my husband ahead of time that he may be in for some moodiness, acne, and increased sex drive (he said that he wouldn't mind any of the above, so I was glad that I had the support to do this!). I knew that I would most likely break out, because I did stop taking bcps a couple years ago for a few months, and out of the blue, I started getting painful cysts not only on my chin, but all over my face. At that time, I was in shock, becuase my pre-pill skin only has a small zit every couple of months; very infrequently. When I went back on the pill, my skin cleared up (with help from a topical salicylic acid treatment).

So far, my skin has varied from oily, slightly dry, fully broken out on chin, clear on other areas, then broken out on other areas and clear on chin.. Just completely unpredictable, and it's very frustrating. If I didn't have the support of my husband, I probably wouldn't be able to handle this on my own. On my worst days, he makes me forget about how much this bothers me. The only time I feel comfortable with my skin is when I'm with him... So at least I have that.

Now... I've made the decision that I would not remedy my skin situation with another bandaid. I'm not going to take any antibiotics, or spiro, or accutane, or ever go on birth control again (I know that these things can help many people, but for myself, I *need* to cure this from within) I may consider trying other options after all hope has failed, but for now, I want to give this my best shot. I really believe that acne is a symptom of some underlying condition that we all have (not the same condition, but our bodies are telling us *hello, something is wrong, I'm giving you all these zits as a wake up call*!). After spending hours and hours reading posts on this site, and researching in general, I strongly believe that my liver needs to be supported, and that my lifestyle has to change.

What I have been doing for the past 4 months:

*TRYING TO FOLLOW AS BEST I CAN*:

- Cut sugars dramatically from diet.

- Eat blood sugar stabilizing foods, and eat complex carbs instead of simple

- Eat anti-inflammatory foods

- Constantly keep hydrated

- Eat a tonne of vegis (cruciferous, and dark leafies)

- Make sure to get LOTS of fiber to promote toxins aka synthetic hormones to leave my body and not just circulate around

- Cut out all juice and pop (this was easy, I LOVE my lemon water).

- Exercise moderately for 30mins +, 5 x/week

- Eat organic as much as possible (lots of soaked quinoa, beans, lentils and wild caught salmon - yum!)

- Take my vites/supps religiously

Vitamins/Supplements I'm taking (and why):

- Vitex (Femaprin) - To balance hormones, kickstart progesterone production

- Calcium D Glucarate - To help remove estrogen out of body and inhibit the re-absorption

- NAC - To support liver, and for general detoxification

- ALA - Antioxidant to offset free radicals during detox periods (like losing weight)

- Quercetin - For bad seasonal allergies

- Digestive Enzymes - To help with digestion and relieve bloating after meals

- Zinc - To boost immune system, and hopefully help with skin?

- Organic Multivitamin - To fill in any nutritional shortfall (I only take 1 per day)

- Norwegian Fish oil - For inflammation, and brain function!

- Borage Oil - For GLA to use for inflammation and eczema from going off bcps

- Lethicin - To aid in absorption of borage and other supps, also for liver support

- Vitamin C - In a powder form to add to smoothies when I remember!

- Acidophilus - To recolonize healthy bacteria

- Chromium - Only take if I cheat and eat something really sugary, for insulin resistance

Vitamins/Supplements that I used to take (and why I stopped):

- Evening Primrose Oil - Switched to borage for higher GLA content

- B50 Complex - Gave me the "niacin flush" like having hot flashes after I took it, might try again later

Month 1 - Skin was remarkably clear, I thought maybe I had cheated the post-bcp breakout. Little did I know, this was a calm before the storm.

Month 2 - Developed slight eczema, I have never had eczema in my life! Also breaking out every single day.. The week of my period was the worst for breakouts and INSANELY oily skin.

Month 3 - Breakouts still bad, but eczema went down a lot. Experienced 1-2 weeks of insanely clear face minus my chin which was broken out badly.. Also, my sweat during this time was odorless for some reason.?

Month 4 - Just started my period and my skin looks TERRIBLE. For the first time since I came off bcps, I developed 2 cysts on my chin a week before my period. It's now 2 days into my period and they are just finally going away. My forehead, which was been really quite clear since going off birth control, is not breaking out badly - digestive issues maybe? I've upped my fiber intake to see if this helps. I really believe in the acne face chart! I know some people think it's silly, but I think it's quite accurate (in my case!)

***Other things I've noticed***

As mentioned above, I started to get eczema on my face.. Or is it seb derm? I'm not sure, but it's almost like tiny red rashy little bumps... I've read a few posts on this forum and another womans health forum of women developing eczema after coming off birth control... Just another thing to add to the bag I guess! I've also noticed that I dropped 10+ lbs! I wasn't overweight to begin with, but my extra fat just kind of fell off! I have to say that I have been exercising and eating really well for the past few months, so I think I'll put it down to that. Also, my skin gets super oily during my period, and my skin tone goes red and blotchy... yuck!

I forgot to mention that I'm using

- Complex 15 face lotion (been using for years and years!)

- Orjene Organics Alpha Lipoic Acid foaming cleanser (using for a couple months, love it!)

- Newco SPF15 zinc oxide sunscreen for face and chest... So far loving it.. Not sure if it's contributed to the new breakout on my forehead, but will update if I figure out it is.

Also just bought a shower filter, it's pretty neat!

So... That's where I stand right now. I want to use this to track my supplements and what I'm eating so that I might be able to see if a certain event or food triggers a breakout.

Anyways, I hope that anyone coming off birth control finds some comfort in knowing that I'm going through the same crappy journey! I know one thing for sure though, I'm never, EVER taking birth control ever again!!!

Edited by smartie
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Hi!!! I am also writing a log about my attempt at comping off bc pills! I have been off of them for about a month and a half now... I will definitely be following your progress!

Best of luck! Hope you can figure something out!!!

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Hi!!! I am also writing a log about my attempt at comping off bc pills! I have been off of them for about a month and a half now... I will definitely be following your progress!

Best of luck! Hope you can figure something out!!!

Hello!

I have actually quietly creeped your log during my "research period" up until this point (sorry if that sounds creepy!) I'll be keeping up with it for sure!! :) Good luck in coming off bcps, glad to know that you know how I feel, but sad to know that you have to go through this too! :(

Edited by smartie
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When I was reading other logs, I *really* loved when people had little updates like this, I was able to go back and see their progress, and it was really useful, so I'm going to start doing it too...

Skin Updates

Today, my skin was less oily after I used the zinc sunscreen... I was using it for a few days, and stopped yesterday, and my face was wayyyy oily! It IS pretty mattifying, so I think I'll keep using it and see if my skin likes it. It's only been about a week using it. As for active zits.. My forehead which is usually clear has 2, one I *ahem* got rid of.. and there's a scab now that I'm *healing* with poly. I'm contemplating getting rid of the other one... Two cysts on chin have gone down... Tiny zits on chin still there, a few beside nose, irritating!? + LOTS of red marks on chin... Dammit!

Diet

Yesterday I had:

- Oatmeal with cinnamon and honey, chia seeds, and unsweetened shredded coconut

- Big piece of oven baked salmon with sriracha and mayo sauce with onions (YUM....!!?!?!)

- Huge spinich salad with orange and red peppers, onions, and almonds

- Two slices of organic bread w/o gluten (tonnes of nuts and seeds on it)

- I just realized that I forget what else I ate

- OH ... I had a fruit smoothie with strawberries and pineapples

- Handful of almonds

- Mixed bean and lentil salad with steamed broccoli, red and orange peppers, and asiago dressing

- I think that's it!

Exercise

None... I'm bad, I know.

Mood/Energy Level

Last night, I HAD to take a 4 hour nap... I was SO tired !!! It's day 2 of my *TOTM* and I think that my iron levels dropped or something.... because I just passed right out. My energy levels have been really good the past couple months, so I'm not sure why I was so dead yesterday.

Other Updates

Ice is AMAZING. I had two cysts coming up, like at the very beginning stages where your skin is still flat, but it's red, hot, and slightly painful.. and I iced those spots, and the cysts never came in! This was about a week ago.. so I'm really glad about that.

Edited by smartie
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how long were you taking birth control for? i started taking birth control to help clear my skin, now i use it for my skin and birth control.....i don't plan on stopping it anytime soon but i really hate that when i do finally stop taking it i'll probably break out :/

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how long were you taking birth control for? i started taking birth control to help clear my skin, now i use it for my skin and birth control.....i don't plan on stopping it anytime soon but i really hate that when i do finally stop taking it i'll probably break out :/

Hey AmberNicole! I went on birth control at *almost* 19, and never had a problem with my skin before I went on. I'm now turning 23 in September. So about 4 years. What I hate is that I didn't take it for my skin, I took it to avoid getting pregnant... I wish I would have never went on it! You should do some research on "ditchthepill.com" I think is it.. and just general research online, and see what the pill is doing to your body.. it's not nice! I think the pill is why a lot of girls have such clear skin these days... I know my acne prone friends all have flawless skin, and they're all on the pill, but eat junk and treat their bodies like crap... it's the pill that works wonders! Which pill are you on btw? I was on orthotricyclen. Have you ever looked into spiro?

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Be careful with your "complex carbs". Most of them still contain high fructose corn syrups and can still be considered high GI. My skin didn't completely clear until I stopped consuming grains altogether. My energy also returned once I did this. No more mid-day naps for me!

I was on Modicon for a year - not for acne, but to prevent pregnancy. I stopped taking it in January because I wanted to switch to a completely natural dietary lifestyle. My skin actually never broke out and still hasn't. Not sure if I'm in the clear from it or not.

I'd say the only side affect I've noticed from quitting is that exactly 3 months after quitting, my hair started falling out in clumps. I knew it could potentially happen from my research, but it still doesn't make cleaning out my drain any easier! Luckily, I could care less even if it all fell out. That, and it's only temporary. I'd much rather have my hair fall out for a few months than have my acne return.

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Be careful with your "complex carbs". Most of them still contain high fructose corn syrups and can still be considered high GI. My skin didn't completely clear until I stopped consuming grains altogether. My energy also returned once I did this. No more mid-day naps for me!

I was on Modicon for a year - not for acne, but to prevent pregnancy. I stopped taking it in January because I wanted to switch to a completely natural dietary lifestyle. My skin actually never broke out and still hasn't. Not sure if I'm in the clear from it or not.

I'd say the only side affect I've noticed from quitting is that exactly 3 months after quitting, my hair started falling out in clumps. I knew it could potentially happen from my research, but it still doesn't make cleaning out my drain any easier! Luckily, I could care less even if it all fell out. That, and it's only temporary. I'd much rather have my hair fall out for a few months than have my acne return.

Hey!

I'm pretty crazy about what I eat. My complex carbs are hot flax cereal, organic oatmeal and organic bread, and that's it. The only other carbs I eat are organic vegis. I avoid high fructose corn syrup like the plague, and also corn ANYthing for that matter. That is a thought though, since I've been eating more grains, my skin hasn't necessarily been worse, but I get sharp pains in my stomach from time to time... I'll have to try cutting grains altogether and see if I notice any changes, thanks for the heads up! You're so lucky you avoided the post pill madness!

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how long were you taking birth control for? i started taking birth control to help clear my skin, now i use it for my skin and birth control.....i don't plan on stopping it anytime soon but i really hate that when i do finally stop taking it i'll probably break out :/

Hey AmberNicole! I went on birth control at *almost* 19, and never had a problem with my skin before I went on. I'm now turning 23 in September. So about 4 years. What I hate is that I didn't take it for my skin, I took it to avoid getting pregnant... I wish I would have never went on it! You should do some research on "ditchthepill.com" I think is it.. and just general research online, and see what the pill is doing to your body.. it's not nice! I think the pill is why a lot of girls have such clear skin these days... I know my acne prone friends all have flawless skin, and they're all on the pill, but eat junk and treat their bodies like crap... it's the pill that works wonders! Which pill are you on btw? I was on orthotricyclen. Have you ever looked into spiro?

I took Ortho Tricyclen and it didn't help my skin at all. I started taking it like 3 months before I turned 20 so it hasn't even been a year for me. After like 8 months on that pill I changed it and I'm taking Yaz now. I finishing my first month and so far its been way better then Ortho...now horrible break-outs at first and so far no break-outs the two week before my period like the other pill. No mood swings, no side-effects at all really. So I love it so far. I'm also taking vitamin supplements and some of them are suppose to help with the problems that BCP can cause so hopefully I'll be ok =/ especially since Yaz doesn't have the best reviews....

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Skin Updates

Grr!!! I have two new cysts coming up on my chin. I'm almost 100% certain it's due to pineapple. I knew that pineapple has given me cysts in the past, because my skin would be clear for a while, and then I would eat a piece of pineapple, and get a cyst the next day, it would ALWAYS be a big cyst, not a small breakout... grrr! I was so optimistic this week too because for the first time since stopping birth control, I DIDN'T BREAK OUT during my period! My skin was fine! I was SO happy!!! I didn't want to jinx myself, but I couldn't stop thinking to myself that this is it, I'm finally over this whole ordeal! I wonder if things are gettnig better though, because I always DREAD the week of my period since stopping birth control.. I always know my skin will be oily as hell, blotchy, and have horrible breakouts.. but this whole period was as if I didn't even have one at all! It was also a perfect 28 day cycle.. I didn't even get cycles that perfect while I was ON birth control! So I know something must be going right? I'll definately update about what happens though, I seriously have a feeling it was the pineapple (which I have suspected I had a sensitivity to for a while). I also noticed that SweetJade1980 breaks out after eating pineapple, and she's my idol when it comes to information on acne... so .. that's kind of cool I guess?

One more update is that my chest acne is all gone for the most part, I was breaking out on my chest pretty bad since I stopped BCPS, but it's finally gone. My eczema is also not really a problem anymore either.. I think that this situation is sllooooowwly getting better.. I will definately keep updating, incase something good happens, I hope it will give hope to the other ladies who are going through the same situation!

Diet

Yesterday I had all you can eat crab and 2 pieces of chocolate cake and a few cream puffs.. It was a celebration though! I also decided to have some pineapple, which I know that I shouldn't have!?!?? I have eaten crab on several occasions and never had a breakout from it... But every single time I eat pineapple, I get a cyst, or a few the next day... and to my suprise, I got two today, after eating pineapple yesterday. This actually has happened to me when my skin was 100% acne free during my teenage years. I would have flawless skin, and then eat canned pinapple, and get a cyst on my chin... I would FREAK out about it too, because my skin would be perfect, and I'd have this giant cyst that I didn't know what to do with, I would just attack it, and it would take so long to heal! Ahhhh I should have known better, but I consider eating pineapple an experiment.. so I know that I MUST avoid it. I guess I'll be icing those suckers tonight while I lay in bed.. yay.. NOT.

I also ate steamed cauliflower, broccoli, onion, and mixed greens (all organic minus the broccoli) with a little butter and himilayan salt, and sunnyboy hot cereal (whole flax, rye) with a handful of dry coconut, oat bran, and chia seeds mixed in... I love this combo, and I have it every single day... Gotta get my fiber!

Today I ate hot cereal, steamed broccoli, cauliflower, mixed greens, and onion with a little butter and himilayan salt, and cayan pepper, some dark chocolate and almond butter, a greek wrap at the mall with a greek salad, and another one of my steamed veg dishes (identical to the other one I ate today). After my workout today, I made a smoothie with: organic strawberries, organic kiwis, water, greens+ (which has a tonne of whole food goodness like spirolina and chlorella, with a TONNE of other good things!), 2.5g vitamin c mixed in, and a large handful of spinich.. it was awwwwwwwwwwwwwesome. !! I bought 4 packs of organic strawberries because they were on sale, and washed and froze two packs, and I cut up the kiwis and froze them too... so my smoothie was nice and cold and icey, yum !

Exercise

30 min interval biking

30 min pilates (abs, legs, slight upper body)

Took my pup for a two walks with my husband

Mood/Energy Level

B+? I don't have class on Fridays so it's my sleep in day.. yahoo! I slept in until 12:15pm, and I took a melatonin last night and had a good sleep (weird dreams though...). I felt pretty awake today, I was able to do an intense workout... Yesterday I did a 30 min interval bike ride, but I was pretty low energy, and it wasn't the best workout.

Other Updates

In my last post I talked about how ice is amazing at it stopped two cysts in their tracks... well, now I hope that the ice works on the two NEW ones I got today... I hate cysts.. they linger around for so long.. I can deal with any other type of acne .. but cysts really upset me!!!

Went shopping with my husband this evening and we both got some nice finds... I might post pics of the items I got, that would be kind of fun!

Edited by smartie
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Thanks a lot. Now I want crab.

I used to get the best sushi when I was in college. I went to "The Starving Artist Cafe" (it was an art school so pun was intended). It had cooked crab, cucumber and a little piece of scrambled egg. DELICIOUS. My friend and I used to say we were doing research in illustration methods class and dodge out to snack on some sushi and vitamin water. Not that any of this is relevant.

I'd say the cake and cream puffs would be more likely to cause acne than the pineapple, though. I have heard of pineapple giving people problems, however.

Hopefully, it gets better for you.

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Hi!

How has your skin been doing? What brand of acidophilus do you take? Hope things are going great for you!!!

Hey! I'm going to write an update right now actually. I take new roots acidophilus. And.. things are going WEIRD for me! haha. I'll explain more in my next post! I have been reading your posts and haven't had time to write a nice long reply, but I am seriously struggling with some of the same things that you are. =( I'll come post in your topic in a bit!

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Thanks a lot. Now I want crab.

I used to get the best sushi when I was in college. I went to "The Starving Artist Cafe" (it was an art school so pun was intended). It had cooked crab, cucumber and a little piece of scrambled egg. DELICIOUS. My friend and I used to say we were doing research in illustration methods class and dodge out to snack on some sushi and vitamin water. Not that any of this is relevant.

I'd say the cake and cream puffs would be more likely to cause acne than the pineapple, though. I have heard of pineapple giving people problems, however.

Hopefully, it gets better for you.

Haha! I have a pure weakness for crab. I can give up a lot of foods like ice cream, cakes, cookies, sugar in general, but I think I woudl have to choose crab over nice skin. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but I LOVE crab! (And it's pretty healthy too, minus the sodium!)

That little sushi roll sounds yum!!! I like your sneakiness! haha :)

As for pineapple, I've gone to the buffet before and had some chocolate covered cream puffs and cake before, (and crab!), without having pineapple, and did not have a breakout in the following days. I'm almost 100% sure it's pineapple. I also used a pineapple enzyme scrub one time, and have the CRAZIEST breakout afterwards.. I was SO upset! I was going to buy bromalain to take with my quercetin (or a stack with them both together), but I'm glad I didn't... Who knows what could have happened from me taking large doses of pineapple enzymes! It's okay though, pineapple is something that I can definately live without. Crab on the other hand....

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Skin Updates

Okay. So those two cysts that popped up the day after I ate at the buffet on Thursdy, turned out to be more of a papule. I've had these before, where they pop up SUPER quick, and I think they're cystic, but after icing them like crazy, a little white head shows. Sorry for TMI, but I sterilized a needle with rubbing alchol, then 100% organic tea tree oil (to be extra safe!) and make a tiny prick and the used a soft cloth and gently pressed on the sides and a tiny bit of puss came out with mostly blood and what looked to be a hard "core" afterwards. This was the case for both zits, and after icing them again after getting rid of them, they are completely gone, but obviously not without leaving a nice pink mark behind (but not as bad as the red mark an actual CYST leaves). I've been applying aloe vera gel mixed with 100% organic tea tree oil on red marks and those two areas that need to be healed, and it seems to work quite well. I think that it also stops any infection from forming again because of the antibacterial properties of both. Okay, so Saturday was OK... but Sunday, I fell asleep on the couch while watching Fantastic Mr. Fox with my husband (awesome movie!), and I woke up at around 5am, and I hadn't washed my face (I NEVER miss washing my face and applying my BHA!). So I looked in the mirror, and I had rash like red bumps all around my nose and down to my chin. My skin looked super inflamed too. That night, we had my husbands sister over and we ate chocolate ice cream, burgers with cheese, and other bad snacky foods (BAD meaning sugary, but otherwise good ingredients/organic treats). I was SO sad when I saw my face. I actually started crying.

On Monday, I woke up, didn't want to do anything, just mope around, but husband convinced me to get out of the house with him and go to the recycle depot. I got ready, and realized that my face was decent. I felt really fed up with trying to hide my zits, it takes SO LONG! I just did a half ass job on my concealer (I don't ever wear foundation), and we left. In the car I told him that I was getting tired of covering up my zits, and he said "then don't!" He's the one who always tells me not to cover them up for him, because he doesn't care. I love him! I keep telling him that it's for "my insecurities". He got one little whitehead by his nose the other day, and he said "see look, Im not going to cover it up, or pop it, so that you don't feel embaressed if you don't cover yours up". He's seriously so sweet, and I've started to feel a lot more comfortable not covering up the zits around him.... Although I'm still not fully there yet.. Just because this is new to me too, and I'm not very comfortable with it.

On Tuesday I had to go to school, I'm taking a course this spring (why I chose to take spring courses, I don't know). I was going to take another few courses in summer, but I *KNOW* now that I want the rest of my summer off, and I'm just going to wait till fall to finish them up. Anyways, I woke up on Tuesday at around 6am, and I was actually kind of pleased with my face. I ate REALLY clean on Monday (I'll post what I ate below). My face was still kind of broken out, but less red and angry. Tuesday night I squeezed a few clogged pores, and iced them, then put queen helene mint julep mask on them, and today are red, but the cloggies are gone.

*I have to tell you that when I say that I was pleased with my face, my idea of a good day is a day that it is easier to cover my bumps and redness with makeup, not a day where my face looks good enough to go without makeup.. because if I was having THOSE kind of days, I wouldn't even be on this site! My good days are days where it takes me less than an hour to get ready. I remember when I had clear skin and I could get ready in 10 mins... I kind of measure my happiness with my skin in the time it takes to conceal everything (if I even can). Less time = more happy. More time = less happy.

Today, I felt pretty good about my skin. No new breakouts... my red marks looked a bit faded on my chin too, maybe the aloe and tea tree helped them heal a bit faster? Not sure! Today, my face looks a lot better. It was weird that I broke out AFTER my period was done. I wonder if that buffet was the reason, and if I would not have gone, my face would have been okay up until now... I guess I can't turn back time and see, so the best I can do is keep up with a good diet and exercise and see what happens. Also, I always feel that my skin looks a lot better after I exercise and have a shower. Maybe it helps with the blood flow to the face and healing process? I'm not sure. One more thing: Everytime I think that my skin may be clearning up, I ALWAYS think that I jinx myself and that it will get worse, this seems to happen too! So I almost hate reporting "good days" becuase I feel like I jinxed it, and I will definately have bad days after this. So... *knock on wood*.

Diet

Friday - Don't 100% Remember! Not too bad though, maybe had a bit of ice cream sometime in there though (or a lot!)

Saturday - Burgers with cheese, chocolate ice cream, peanut butter, coconut oil+flower brownies, and some steamed vegis in there with it (cauli, spinich, carrots).

Sunday - Steamed vegis (onions, cauli, broccoli, spinich, unsalted butter, hilalayan salt), mixed bean salad (beans, a little salad dressing)... Can't really remember what else I ate today, but nothing with sugar.

Monday - hot cereal (flax, rye, oats) with coconut oil and shredded unsweetened coconut, chia seeds, and extra oan bran, steamed ved (onions, cauli, broccili, spinich, unsalted butter, himilayan salt), one piece sprouted grains organic bread with almond butter and cinnamon. Mixed bean salad (ate all day in portions). No sugar.

Tuesday - Brown rice pasta with alfredo sauce and wild caught salmon that I cut into large chunks (OMG SO GOOD... I LOVE salmon!) Also steamed veg (cauli, broccoli, mixed greens, onions, unsalted butter, himilayan salt), hot cereal (flax, rye, oats) with unsweetened coconut, chia seeds, and extra oan bran and almond butter). Some organic flax cereal with organic milk, a piece of sprouted grain organic toast with almond butter and cinnamon, two hard boiled eggs. 4 pieces dark chocolate after my workout, also ate 1 heaping tbsp of coconoil oil... consistency of vaseline, but love the taste! Oh yeah, just remembred that after my workout, I was looking for something proteiny and sugary to eat becuase I did a bit of weight training, so I ate one big spoon of chocolate ice cream, one spoon of cottage cheese (low sodium), one spoon of heavy cream yogust (liberte, SO GOOD), and one flax seed cracker.. and yeah.

Wed - So far today I ate my left over salmon pasta with wild salmon and brown rice pasta and alfredo sauce. I'm going to work out and have some hot cereal with unswtnd. coconut, oat bran, cinnamon and chia seeds afterwards and a two pieces of 70% dark chocolate. Will update later on what else I ended up eating today.

*forgot to mention, I started up again with my lemon water. I juice one organic lemon add filtered water and drink it down... I love this WAAAYYY more than juice. I'm addicted to my lemon water!

Exercise

Friday -30 mins biking, walk with our pup

Saturday - 20 mins biking, walk with our pup

Sunday - walk with our pup

Monday - walk with our pup

Tuesday - 30 mins biking, pilates (abs, butt, thighs)

Wednesday - about to exercies after I end this post! Aiming for 30 min bike + pilates (abs, butt, maybe upper body.. I've been totally slacking on upper body!)

Mood/Energy Level

Saturday - Don't really remember... Not an A though!

Sunday - Feeling sad about skin, but energy was decent. B+/-

Monday - A+/-. I had a good sleep... I made sure our bedroom was SUPER dark the last few nights, and I feel like my sleeps are more deep and I feel more rested.

Tuesday - A+. I woke up early, and went to bed kind of late, didn't nap at all, and felt like I had a lot of energy. I also had a long workout!

Today (Wednesday) - A+ so far, I had a good sleep, woke up kind of congested b/c of seasonal allergies, but felt a lot better after eating and having my quercetin. The real test is if I have a good workout, then I'll know my energy is good for today!

Other Updates

My quercetin ran out so I bought the Sisu brand on with 50mg grape seed extract added in. Grape seed extract is supposed to be antibacterial so .. yeah! I take 2-3 of these quercetins per day.. so about 100-150mg of grapeseed extract is in there. So far so good. I stopped taking lecithin for the time being... Just because I bought a new brand and started taking it around the time I started to break out last week so... I'll start it up again in a few days maybe.

*I want to mention that I have lost 15 lbs since changing my diet, starting to exercise moderately 5+ times a week, and gotten off birth control. My weight history:

Never overweight

In highschool, my weight was under around the 110-120 range

After highschool, started exercising regularly, got very lean and super happy with my toned body, weighted around 115-120, very little fat but defined arms, shoulders, tummy and legs.. Most happy with mybody during this time! Moved to a different city at 19, started to slowly stop exercising as much, and slowly gaining weight over the course of a few years

On birth control up until around 4 months ago - slowly started gaining weight, and top weight was a upwards of 130, maybe a little more. As of yesterday, weight was 115lbs. I found it SO hard to lose weight on birth control.. When I stopped, and made these lifestyle changes, the weight literally FELL off of me so easy. I think its a combination of eating WAY healthier, TONNES of vegis, hardly any sugar, haven't drank juice/pop in half a year, only water EVER, and exercising regularly. Even though my skin isn't good, my body is looking great! Oh, I forgot to mention I started doing Qi Jong, yoga, and pilates about 4 months ago, and I've continued to do pilates regularly.. I find this the most enjoyable. I highly recommend pilates (search youtube vids for free "lessons"). Also, at my most fit stage after high school, I had a flat stomach, but no ab definition, which I could care less for, but NOW, my husband and I can see the definition in my upper abs, but not in a manly way, just nicely toned. This weight loss and body toning up-ness was a huge accomplishment for me, as before when I was quite fit, I was taking fat burners to help the process. This time around, I did it au natural, and it feels really great. My old "fit clothes" that didn't FIT at all the last couple years, now fit great, and I actually have some ROOM in them. This is my little slice of happiness with my body, and I try to focus on this when my skin is really getting me down. *

Sorry this post is SO LONG! I just wanted to post a picture of my aloe vera plant aka "Al", I bought him so I could grow him really big and then use his aloe gel! I still need to get a bigger pot, but this is what he looks like so far. Such a cool looking plant, and low maintinance!

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Edited by smartie
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I was reading i_hate_cystic_acne's log, and decided that I should put some pics up. After I took a few pics, I felt SO SAD. I think I know why people don't like taking pics of their skin when it looks like crap, because then you see it in a picture, and FEEL like crap. I hate looking at old pictures of my skin, even from less than a year ago, I can't believe how much I took clear skin for granted my whole life. Frick :(

Edit: I'll post better "now" pics when I get a better camera. I seriously feel like the pics I got today didn't even come close to the state of my skin. I'll be shopping this weekend for one (we need a new camera, its a long time coming!).

I noticed a few new whiteheads on my chin, and a tonne of bumps on either side of my chin, also around my nose. I have no idea what to call them, if I called every bump a zit, I would probably have about 20 on my chin right now. they aren't tiny bumps, they're .. about a few mms in width. I am now wondering about folleculitis (spelling?). Going to do some more research on that.

Edited by smartie
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Have you tried any supplements that produceprogestrines naturally? Like wild yam extract? When I stopped taking Yaz I took this extract for a few months and it really helped to control the "detox" effects. It doesn't contain estrogens, it allows your body to produce more of them naturally. My acne was hormonal, not enough estrogens, thats why Yaz worked so beautifully for me. Wild Yam pretty much did the same thing for me. Plus it seemed to make my boobs bigger :shifty: Theres another one you can take, i think its Fenugreek. Anyway, if you think your acne is mainly hormonal, it might be worth a shot.

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Hey Smartie,

Just wanted to leave a message saying I really admire what you're doing and the courage it takes to say no to the short term stop gap solutions like birth control and spiro.

I've been on birth control since I was 18, 22 now. But I'm looking to come off in the next few years. And I'm trying to find a liver, colon and kidney cleansing regimen that will hopefully lessen any breakout the effects of that hormonal change may cause. I'm on yasmin now, but I'm still breaking out a fair amount, that's why I know my body is telling me there is something not right. And well done to you for being the brave one to go completely natural and give your system time to regain it's balance.

I'm wondering if you have looked into colonics and liver cleansing? A lot of people on this sight who have struggled with hormonal acne have cleared themselves through these methods.

I'm currently using bentonite clay with psyllium husks in water to cleanse my colon.

Apple cider vinegar to begin cleansing my liver.

And internal hydrogen peroxide to kill any candida.

But kudos to you with your regimen, I wish you all the best. xXx

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Have you tried any supplements that produceprogestrines naturally? Like wild yam extract? When I stopped taking Yaz I took this extract for a few months and it really helped to control the "detox" effects. It doesn't contain estrogens, it allows your body to produce more of them naturally. My acne was hormonal, not enough estrogens, thats why Yaz worked so beautifully for me. Wild Yam pretty much did the same thing for me. Plus it seemed to make my boobs bigger :shifty: Theres another one you can take, i think its Fenugreek. Anyway, if you think your acne is mainly hormonal, it might be worth a shot.

Hi Kristie!

I've actually been taking Femaprin (Vitex/Agnus Castus) for 4 months now. The odd this is that my monthly cycle has been 28 days on the dot for the past two months. Which confuses me even more. My period was NEVER that on time when I was on birth control. I don't have any other symptoms than cystic acne on my chin, and around my mouth and nose (kind of like where a mustache and gotee would be on a man, I have acne there). My husband used to manage a GNC when he was still in school, and he actually asked me if I researched anything on wild yam cream. I didn't do much research, but I'm definately going to right after I'm done writing this! I do think my acne is hormonal, but I'm pretty sure that I have/had high estrogen and low/non existant progesterone since I was getting crazy migraines which are a apparently a sign of high estrogen. I read that the pill suppresses progesterone and lets estrogen run freely and get out of control in some people... But I *truly* have no idea, I'm just self diagnosing myself! Definately going to check out wild yam extract though. How are you doing now skin wise? Did you experience any other symtoms when coming off bcp? I'm almost at month 5, and at this point I don't see an end in sight. Do you have a log for coming off bcp? I love hearing about others who've been through it!

Thanks for your post! : )

Edited by smartie
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Hey Smartie,

Just wanted to leave a message saying I really admire what you're doing and the courage it takes to say no to the short term stop gap solutions like birth control and spiro.

I've been on birth control since I was 18, 22 now. But I'm looking to come off in the next few years. And I'm trying to find a liver, colon and kidney cleansing regimen that will hopefully lessen any breakout the effects of that hormonal change may cause. I'm on yasmin now, but I'm still breaking out a fair amount, that's why I know my body is telling me there is something not right. And well done to you for being the brave one to go completely natural and give your system time to regain it's balance.

I'm wondering if you have looked into colonics and liver cleansing? A lot of people on this sight who have struggled with hormonal acne have cleared themselves through these methods.

I'm currently using bentonite clay with psyllium husks in water to cleanse my colon.

Apple cider vinegar to begin cleansing my liver.

And internal hydrogen peroxide to kill any candida.

But kudos to you with your regimen, I wish you all the best. xXx

Hey!! Thank you for your kudos! I seriously had more than a few weak moments where I REALLY wanted to take antibiotics, spiro, or maybe even accutane.. Especially in my third month off where my acne became more cystic but the choice is really easy in the end.. I don't want a bandaid, I know that something is off with my body, like you said. My self diagnosis at the beginning was that my liver needed to be cleansed. For the first two months, I drank a tea called Bija Deep Cleanse every day twice a day religiously. I also ate super clean (and still do for the most part!). I also started exercising regularly and lost quite a bit of weight, upwards of 15 lbs, and I did some research about losing weight and toxins. Aparently toxins (synthetic birth control included) are fat soluble and stored in your fat cells. When you lose weigt/burn fat cells for energy, toxins are released into your blood stream, sometimes way more than your liver can process.

My self diagnosis now, is still that my liver is overloaded with toxins (because my skin is now being used as the last resort, instead of my liver!) but I also think I may have a candida overgrowth, since I have been on antibiotics a few times over the past few years because I used to have bladder infections quite often. I suprisingly haven't had one in longer than I can remember, so that's a good thing! For candida, I have cut most sugar out of my diet for the past few months, chewed on raw garlic (to release the allicin (spelling??)) and swollowed it with water, taken grape seed extract, probiotics (although people say to incorporate probiotics after you know candida is all gone), and.. I think thats about it. I've seriosuly cut down on sugar which is really crappy and totally hard because I *LOVE* anything sugary... I have the biggest sweet tooth. I only have fruit 1-2 times a week, and usually only organic strawberries. I've really spent a lot of $$ on organic things because I don't think my liver needs any more stuff to deal with like pesticides, fungacides, herbacides, antibiotics and hormones in meats, etc.

I completely agree with liver cleansing, colon cleansing, and other cleanses. I'm just not a fan of the Hulda Clark liver flush because I know of a person (and others on the internet) who required emergency gallbladder removal after doing this flush because a gallstone got stuck in their bilary tract (I think its called). So that totally scared me away from doing it.

I'm all for doing cleanses in a box that usually include milk thistle. As for colon cleansing. I'm totally good in that department. I have championshop poops! I completely apologize if this is too much information, but I usually have 2 bowel movements per day, and they are soft and slide right out. If I can only focus on one thing in the day when it comes to eating, before protein, fat, calories, I will ALWAYS put fiber intake as my #1 concern. My forehead stays clear when my bowel movements are in good shape, I have tested this more than a few times. I totally believe in the acne face chart, although some people think it's kind of crazy, I don't ! Have you seen it?

Anyways,

I really like the bentonite and psyllium drink idea, I've done a bit of research on it, and I might give it a try! Are you going to log any of this , like the cleanses etc? Please do!

Take care!! Thankyou for your recommendtations! : )

Edited by smartie
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Skin Updates

No new BIG zits, but lots of smaller white heads and a few tiny papules on my chin. My forehead is also clear at the moment. I always find that when I increase my fiber, or just make sure I have a lot of fiber in general, my bowel movements are great, and my forehead is clear. I think I'm going to attach the acne face chart just for kicks. Who knows if it's true, but its not that far fetched!

Other than that, my face was ruddy today (red and uneven), I think it's because I only had about 3-4 hrs of sleep last night. I just tossed and turned, and had to get up at 5. I wonder if I cut out grains, my skin would improve? I haven't had a day where I have zero actives, I always have a few on my face... I did have a couple of moments in the past 4 months where my skin WAS clear, but I haven't in a while. The only major change is that I started eating more whole grains, a lot more, and bread, also butter. I wonder if I have a sensitivity to gluten? I might try cutting out grains, especially bread. We'll see. I won't have much selection then.. I've already cut out so much!

Diet

Yesterday I ate hot cereal with a tbsp of coconut oil, shredded unswtnd coconut, chia seeds, and oat bran, brown rice pasta with alfredo sauce and wild salmon, steamed mixed greens with half a steamed onion, half of a lindt 70% cocoa chocolate bar, a *TEENY* bit of ice cream because my husband made an ice cream sandwich. It literally was an ice cream sandwich, it was a scoop of icecream in between two pieces of whole grain bread... his dad used to make them when he was younger, apparently this is a "Cambodian" ice cream sandwich, (??). Lol! I also had a few flax crackers with a TONNE of almond butter ( I LOVE ALMOND BUTTER!!! ) and a piece of organic sprouted whole grain bread with a tonne of almomd butter and DOUSED it in cinnamon. It was delicious, and literally made my mouth NUMB from the mass amount of cinnamon. I also had a small piece of salmon that had some organic spice without salt on it.. I'm seriously addicted to salmon. I've been eating salmon almost every day, it's hard to find though because I refuse to eat farmed salmon, and wild salmon is almost NOWHERE, or really expensive! I found a good deal at the Safeway by my husbands work downtown and they had a bunch of wild salmon at good prices with a safeway membership, so I stocked up! I also had a salad of organic lettuce, a bunch of red and orange bell peppers. Also another steamed half an onion.

Today I had hot cereal w/ coconut oil, chia seeds, shredded unswtd coconut, + oat bran. For lunch I baked a big piece of wild salmon, and made a sauce of mayonaise and sriracha ( hot chili sauce) and doused it in chopped up onions. SOOOOOOOOO good. I would choose salmon over sugar. I am a salmon addict these days. I had steamed organic cauliflower with half of an onion chopped up. Also had one organic lemon w/ bottled water. I'm going to have BBQ pork tonight though, yay! Also guessing Im going to eat a few dark chocolate pieces after my workout, and some more salmon, yum! Maybe a piece of toast with almond butter and cinnamon. I seriously don't want to cut out toast.. I need SOMETHING to put my almond butter on!!

Exercise

Yesterday - 20 min bike + weights (upper body), light lower body pilates + abs and walk with husband + pup

Today - After done writing, bike for 30 mins and do pilates (abs, lower body).

Mood/Energy Level

Yesterday - A-, not the best workout of my life, but atleast I got some exercise in there. I was alert and awake all day though.

Today - A-, didn't get a good sleep last night, but not really tired right now. We'll see how good of a workout I can get in today.

Other Updates

Not much else. It's raining a lot here, and it sucks. Also, I haven't dyed my hair in over a year.. I usually have it hilighted blond but now my brown is dominant. I haven't had a hair cut in almost 5 years, I always cut it myself. Kind of miss the blond in my hair though, but I like that it's really healthy! Tip: On dry hair, apply coconut oil to the ends and up to the middle around your ears. Put a plastic bag on your head and sleep on it, have a shower in the morning, shampoo it out, you may need to shampoo twice. Condition. Your hair will be SO SMOOTH. I'm going to do this tonight :)

Also - trying to keep a positive attitude even though skin looks like shit. It's hard to sometimes, but I know things could be worse.

Thanks for listening to my updates!

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Edited by smartie
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Update

After work my husband and I drove to Chintatown and got some BBQ pork and other BBQ things. There was an asian bakery next door so we went in and everything looked DELICIOUS!! We ended up getting two kinds of deep fried donuts, a coconut rice jelly style desert with sesame seeds and peanuts inside (This was UhMAYZING!!!!!!!!!!), and a big almond cookie (also SO GOOD). I had some bbq pork, and my husband and I shared the deserts. Okay, about half hour after I ate the deserts, I felt SO tired. I NEEDED a nap. I literally passed out on the couch with my husband and then we "transfered" to the bedroom and we had a nap together. I woke up around 9:30 and I was so congested and my heart was beating faster than usual. I know it was the sugar intake, I ate as much sugar as I would in a week or longer, in less than 10 mins. I do NOT like how it made me feel. I am almost certain that I will have a breakout tomorrow, but, I knew that while I was devouring these deserts. That coconut rice jelly with peanut and sesame desert was unbelievably amazingly delicious though. I actually felt totally sugared out after eating half of everything. I pray that my skin looks decent tomorrow. I know that I have a few smaller pustules on my chin, and a few tiny ones around my face. oplease oplease oplease no massive breakout for the weekend! I wish that I would be able to "cheat" sometimes without having to worry about my skin. But then would I end up cheating a little bit every day? Probably =S . One more update - I didn't eat bread or crackers today. I wonder if this will help with anything? Will update tmrw. G'night!

*Oh yeah, I was looking at a few accutane logs tonight, and I noticed that even people with acne 10x more minor than mine decide to go on accutane. I wish that everyone would try clearing their skin through diet & lifestyle changes first.. esp. since accutane is such a strong drug. I did some reading and it was/is used as a chemotherapy drug for fighting cancerous tumors especially in the brain. =S.

Edited by smartie
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Hey I love the face map there=) I was looking at chinese herbal medicine the other day, about how different areas of the face correlate to different parts of the body. And about how acne in certain areas is caused by 'heat and damp' and 'cold and dry' occurring in the body. And certain foods and herbs are meant to treat this.

Yes I really recommend the p + b shakes =) especially if you find yourself restricting your diet, then eating naughty foods. It soaks up toxins from your body, which then pass out in your stool. And if you say your bowels are regular( feel free to be as graphic as you like there, I can talk poo to anyone) then this may help keep your body clear of toxins. A way to give yourself colonics everyday! But much cheaper!

You've got a good selection of vitamins on the go there as well. Maybe recommend an anti fungal and a probiotic if you haven't got that in there already.

Acidoliphus and garlic might be good to start with. If again you find yourself breaking out after certain foods.

I guess it is cause and effect. Because we are trying to balance our hormones naturally with diet. But the hormonal imbalance that's present reacts with the foods we eat, so it's hard to know if a breakout is part of the healing process or because a food was a no no.

Frustration anyone?

But you seem very knowledgable, much more so than me on these topics so I think you are doing great=) keep us updated lovey, xXx

p.s small thing I read the other day on here. You say you've been losing weight on your new diet. When people have acne occurring constantly the skin has become the 1st choice oriface to eliminate toxins, people carrying more weight tend to not have acne because the toxins can't permeate the excess fat layer they carry. So the toxins become deposited into the fat cells. When we lose weight, this can cause more acne, as the fat along with the toxins are burnt and released.

Just another theory there. So if you lose a lot of weight in a certain week and are breaking out, this may be the reason. I like to think it's reassuring to try to pin down the reason for a particular breakout, keeps me sane.

edit: I just looked back at your list of vits, acidoliphus *check*.

Another one I take is amino acids, to help repair a leaky gut condition that may be present( I'm trying to deal with candida). I don't have any problems with digestion either, except for certain food allergies. Which may be caused by leaky gut.

A lot of people take Colostrum for that as well, but it is dairy so again risky if you find that a problem.

edit: actually, discount everything I say, I look back at your list and you've already got everything I can think of and more. You're too good at being healthy haha.

Edited by Whiskers McCoy
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Hi Whiskers! : )

I'm going to buy some bentonite today at my health food store *hope that have it!* Haha @ the poo comment!!! :):) I am actually taking 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil, grapeseed extract, turmeric (a tbsp of the spice mixed with water to make a paste and then just chasing it down with some water, and chewing raw garlic (it burns!!) for antifungals

I think the weight loss and breakouts is whats happeneing too... with the weight loss and breaking out during that week more than usual.

I also thing I may have leaky gut, I will do some reading on animo acids. *oooooh I was also going to mention that I did some research on wild yam, and aparently it doesn't break down into progesterone without something else added with it.. I'm not 100% sure though, will do more research!

Well... I know what I have to do, but the problem is actually sticking to it! I had a bunch of asian deserts last night, and I'm kind of paying for it today! I'll update under this post!

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